WASHINGTON, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Energy drinks may increase blood pressure and disturb your heart's natural rhythm, according to a research presented Thursday at the American Heart Association's 2013 scientific sessions.
Researchers analyzed data from seven previously published observational and interventional studies to determine how consuming energy drinks might impact heart health.
In the first part of the pooled analysis, the researchers examined the QT interval of 93 people who had just consumed one to three cans of energy drinks. They found that the QT interval was 10 milliseconds longer for those who had consumed the energy drinks. The QT interval describes a segment of the heart's rhythm on an electrocardiogram; when prolonged, it can cause serious irregular heartbeats or sudden cardiac death.
"Doctors are generally concerned if patients experience an additional 30 milliseconds in their QT interval from baseline," said Sachin Shah, lead author and assistant professor at University of the Pacific in California.
Researchers also found that the systolic blood pressure, the top number in a blood pressure reading, increased an average of 3. 5 points in a pool of 132 participants.
"The correlation between energy drinks and increased systolic blood pressure is convincing and concerning, and more studies are needed to assess the impact on the heart rhythm," Shah said. " Patients with high blood pressures or long QT syndrome should use caution and judgment before consuming an energy drink.